29th Annual Rural Living Day

Saturday April 1, 2023
8:30-11:45 a.m. (two sessions run between this timeframe)
Mt. View High School, 577 Mt. View Rd. (Rt. 220),  Thorndike, Maine (Directions, Google Maps)

Grandfather and Granddaughter on their Farm

Rural Living Day is an annual event in April hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Waldo County Extension Association. A variety of workshops will be offered by Extension staff and community experts on topics ranging from gardening, keeping goats, and sourdough baking. Agenda Below.

Rural Living Day is organized by the Waldo County Executive Committee volunteers. If you live in Waldo County and would like to help organize this event, please contact Vina Lindley at vina.lindley@maine.edu.

Proceeds from this event will support the WCEA post-secondary education scholarship for Waldo County residents. For more information on the WCEA scholarship visit the Post-Secondary Scholarship page.

Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Deadline to register is March 29, 2023 or until each class fills up, whichever comes first. Class sizes are limited and fill up fast!

Please Pay Online: We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover or if you prefer to pay by check, use the electronic check option. UMaine Extension has aligned our financial practices with those of UMaine System, keeping your transactions more secure than ever.


First Session: 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

  1. Introduction to Keeping Goats Closed
    Kirsten Lie-Nielsen
    This introduction to goats will cover nutritional needs, daily care, and infrastructure for goats. We’ll talk about different goat breeds, the many uses of goats and how to manage goats for homestead dairy needs.

  2. A Cranberry Garden of your Own? It’s Possible!
    Charles Armstrong
    Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Learn how to create and care for your own garden-sized plot of a Thanksgiving staple–the American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon. The plants require a lot of tender, loving care, but if you do things right, you’ll only need to plant them once and you’ll get berries every year.

  3. Farming in the Presence of Carnivores Closed
    Geri Vistein
    As a carnivore biologist I will share the importance of having carnivores on your farm and the animal husbandry practices that protect your livestock. Both the presence of carnivores and the use of well-established practices make for successful farming. Vegetable farmers will also find out how the presence of Coyotes on their farm keeps herbivores from destroying their hard work of planting and growing.

  4. Growing Peppers and Eggplants in Maine
    Bob Klein
    Come discover the fun and vagaries of growing peppers and eggplants in Maine.

  5. Gardening for Wildlife Habitat
    Aleta McKeage
    Insects, birds, wildlife, and native plants are all suffering decline, with many factors playing into this, including climate change, development, pesticides and other impacts. The ways we garden, landscape, or manage our fields and forests can play a very important role in helping native species of Maine thrive in the future. This talk will cover many practical and beautiful ways we can help wildlife thrive amidst changes and losses, including some new ideas we can apply to mitigate climate change in Maine.

  6. Beginning Crochet – Delightful Dishcloths
    Jen VanLarken
    Come make a dish cloth. We will explore tools and materials, learn to read basic patterns and practice techniques. Bring your own hook and yarn or use ones provided. Bring your questions, ideas ,patterns to interpret, and we will work through them as time allows.

  7. How to Process a Whole Chicken for Easy Meals and Storage
    Robert Dumas
    In this workshop, you will learn how to breakdown a whole chicken into a variety of market forms. The benefits of breaking down a whole chicken include: easier meals, more variety of uses, maximum utilization, greatly reduced storage space, and faster thawing. In addition to the live processing demonstration, we will also discuss: benefits of raising backyard birds, choosing breeds, processing safely and efficiently, and basic approaches to cooking.

Second Session: 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

  1. Sourdough Baking Closed
    Ellie Markovitch
    We invite you to welcome sourdough baking into your daily routine, and rethink “perfect”. This class will help you have fun exploring your creativity in the kitchen. The workshop will be presented with Ellie walking you through developing the sourdough to make flat breads like pita. Ellie will be demonstrating numerous uses for the multipurpose dough. Please bring a container to the workshop if you would like to take some sourdough starter home.

  2. Birth of a Ruminant
    Jacki Martinez Perkins
    Livestock birth (parturition) can go off without a hitch, or it can be frustratingly complicated. Jacki will offer a simulated demonstration of how births happen in ruminants like sheep, goats, and cows.

  3. Fungi! What are they Doing?
    Seanna Annis
    Fungi have many niches in the environment and this talk will cover how they are interacting with plants, cleaning up after other organisms, and other activities.

  4. Keeping Backyard Chickens Closed
    Colt W Knight
    Dr. Knight will discuss brooding chicks, selecting breeds for eggs and meat, housing, and nutrition.

  5. Planning Your Preserving Season
    Kate McCarty
    A little planning in late winter can lay the groundwork for a successful season of food preservation. Learn from University of Maine Cooperative Extension staff and Master Food Preserver volunteer tips for preserving the harvest. Participants will learn an overview of preserving methods like canning, freezing, and fermenting, as well as the best produce varieties for canning, how much to plant for your household size, and suggestions for easy, small-batch preserving projects.

  6. Artichokes and Asparagus Tips and Tricks
    Mark Hutton
    In this presentation we will cover the basics of how to grow these delicious crops. The qualities of different cultivars will be discussed. Time will be set aside to also cover any general vegetable gardening questions.

To request more information or a reasonable accommodation, call Vina Lindley at 207.342.5971 or 800.287.1426 in Maine.

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 Boudreau Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).